“Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.” Wait, I stole that line from a soap opera. But ain’t it the truth? As a child, I was always told that time moved much more quickly as an adult. I had no reason to believe that; I saw no end in sight to Fifth Grade.
The days of our lives turn into the decades of our lives before my crepey eyes blink twice. The sands of time pile up from a play box to barefoot on the beach. Unfortunately, it took a few dump loads of sand before I realized this really wasn’t a dress rehearsal and the time I need to enjoy is today.
It’s been a trip watching and feeling the changes to my body as it has gone through each decade to its current latter side of 50. It has grown wider, heavier, curvier, and given into gravity. It’s been abused, and sometimes pampered. Scars have been carved deep both inside and out. Arthritis has settled in to stay, my gall bladder was sucked out and discarded with the trash, and gravy can no longer be tolerated on a daily basis. I do miss gravy.
I’ve gone through a few identity crisis over the years. One was about six years ago when my thinning hair became so thin I felt everyone was staring at my glaring scalp. So I began wearing wigs, and they saved me for several years. They saved me from self-esteem issues and gave me some peace of mind for a while. They served their purpose and gave me a little confidence in living.
About three months ago, I was sitting on the deck on a particularly warm summer night, and I began thinking how lovely it would be to not have to wear wigs. How nice it would be to experience the freedom of driving with the windows down and not worrying about my hair flying off.
I began asking myself questions, like was I trying to capture the attention of the male species with a gorgeous, Raquel Welch inspired thick mane of hair? Did I care what others now thought of me when looking at my hair? Was I trying to impress anyone? Did my self-esteem lay solely on Eva Gabor? My answer to all those questions was, “No.”
So I began thinking that maybe, just maybe, someone could take a pair of magic scissors and do something with the impossible. You see, only a couple weeks before, I had taken an old pair of dull, rusty scissors and chopped away at my hair with a vengeance. I figured it didn’t matter because no one would ever see it under the wigs. I couldn’t let just anyone see what I had done to my hair. It had to be someone I trusted and knew would care whether my bald spots were showing, and I knew exactly who to call, my cousin-in-law, Kris, hair stylist extraordinaire. I made the appointment.
With quiet observation, Kris looked at my hair, gave it a wash, and then set to work. It had been several years since anyone had touched my hair and the clipping of the scissors made me a little nervous inside, but I trusted her, and I knew the important thing was that I regained my freedom. It was no longer about how I looked, it was about how I felt. Kris made it easy. No judgement, no shocked looks, no screams of terror. She had a plan.
With what little she had to work with, I felt Kris had performed a miracle. I walked out of the salon armed with new product and a sense of freedom I had not had before. Traveling down the highway with the windows down and the warm air blowing against my face and through my hair, I smiled at the absolute joy of it.
Since that day, there have been a couple awkward moments when someone would see me and express a terrified or shocked look. I grew to embrace those looks as much as I have embraced my crown of grey. I am one step closer to being the me God created, and enjoying his creation.
With this new found freedom to be myself, I have discovered that freedom goes wonderfully with a lovely lipstick, in any color that makes me happy at the moment. It’s my life, I shall use all the colors in the box to bring joy to it.
What moment changed your life?
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